The breeding value of Geronimo
At the start of the new millennium, an incredibly gifted youngster saw the light of day in the Houfflijn lofts, which we would later come to know as Geronimo. He was an incredibly talented racing bird in the national long distance and extreme long distance, and he turned out to be a super class breeder as well. This pigeon had enormous breeding potential, and his descendants proved just as talented as him. Today, 20 years later, the Geronimo bloodline is still an integral part of the Houfflijn pigeon family; this line is responsible for numerous great results both in the long distance and extreme long distance.
One of his most famous sons is without doubt Star Geronimo BE11-4196616 (see pedigree): he claimed a 2nd Nat. Montauban of 5,935 p. and a 2nd Nat. Tulle 5,976 p. (click here for his full palmares), and he is now of the big names in the Houfflijn breeding loft.
Another important racing and breeding bird from the Geronimo bloodline is Grandson Geronimo BE12-4240810: he was 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2015, having won a 26th Nat. Pau of 1,980 p. and a 30th Nat. Perpignan of 5,254 p. And he also claimed a 20th Nat. Pau of 1,910 p. the year before. (For his full palmares, see below) He is a son of top bird Fifty Six BE10-4147256 (5th Nat. Bordeaux of 6,249 p. and 7th Internat. 11,417 p.), which is also the sire of one of Patrick's favourite yearlings of 2019: Sagan. This talented bird was a summer youngster from 2018 that had a gentle start to his career in 2019. Although we all know that talented birds are fast growers. And that was also the case for Sagan, who was able to claim a major result early on in his career: a victory in Narbonne and a top result both at national and international level.
Grandson Geronimo: 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2015... and the sire of Sagan
33rd Nat. Narbonne 3,580 p. – 1st Club 40 p. 60th Internat. Narbonne 8,284 p.
Sire: Grandson Geronimo BE12-4240810
A super class bird and 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance 2015. He is a son of top bird Fifty Six Six BE10-4147256 (a 5th Nat. Bordeaux of 6,249 p. and 7th Internat. 11,417 p., and a grandson of Geronimo) x Kleintje Geronimo BE10-4147265 (daughter Geronimo).
Dam: Valepijntje BE16-4143424
She comes from Marc Valepijn. She is a full sister of the best young bird of 2016, winner of a 1st Souppes-sur-Loing of 168 p. and the fastest bird in the province.
The Houfflijn pigeon breed forced a breakthrough in the late 1990s in the national long distance, thanks to the introduction of pigeons of grandmaster Gaby Vandenabeele. Two sons of Blauwe Fideel (winner of a 1st Nat. Brive 1995), two daughters of Ronker (winner of a 1st Nat. Limoges 1995 and 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 1994) and a daughter of Turbo (1st Prov. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB West Fl.) have proven to be pivotal in the team's impressive achievements in the national long distance. They also successfully introduced more recent Vandenabeele bloodlines through Rik Cools, which in turn led to the discovery of Super Cools, who has bred several talented newcomers. This bloodline can now be found in many of the team's best racing birds today, including:
-Broer Super Cools BE16-4152116
2. Cahors 141 p. ’19 - 14. Nat 6,903 p. 5. Clermont 388 p. ’19 6. Limoges 267 p. ’19 – 24. Prov 2,689 p. – 131. Nat 13,569 p. 8. Arras 206 p. ’19 25. Chateauroux 353 p. ’17 – 301. Prov 4.967 p. 92. Prov Tulle 1,729 p. ’17 – 482. Nat 9,578 p.
Sire: De Cools BE09-3040036
A direct Rik Cools and the sire of long distance star Super Cools: the 2nd best long distance pigeon of Belgium across 4 national races (PIPA ranking) in 2017 and 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2017, having won a 48th Nat. Limoges I 14,937 p. a 63rd Nat. Tulle 8,020 p. and a 92nd Nat. Limoges II of 9,149 p.
Dam: Zoromino BE09-4210269
She comes from a full brother of Geronimo, and she is the dam of Super Cools and others.
The following racing bird is another descendant of the bloodline of 'De Cools' x Geronimo:
-De Cools 005 BE16-4152005
4. Orleans 393 p. ’17 5. Jarnac 66 p. ’17 – 166. Nat 5,117 p. 6. Brive 233 p. ’18 – 58. Nat 9,278 p. 6. Limoges 284 p. ’18 – 443. Nat 15,789 p. 71. Prov Souillac 698 p. ’19 – 324. Nat 3,737 p. 83. Prov Tulle 1,729 p. ’17 – 344. Nat 9,578 p.
The old birds' competition in the long distance and extreme long distance has traditionally been Patrick Houfflijn's main goal. He wants his pigeons to properly develop, and he only expects them to deliver when they are two years old or older. That is why he does not put too much stress on his young birds and yearlings; their main objective is to gain experience for later. We already mentioned Sagan, but there is another yearling from 2019 that Patrick Houfflijn expects a lot from: Filou. Filou has shown his potential in a number of races already, and he looks ready to follow in the footsteps of his half brother Fifty Six (bred from the same sire).
7. Argenton 213 p. – 436. Nat 22,826 p. 8. Fontenay 120 p. 9. Fontenay 168 p. 50. Chateauroux 607 p.
Sire: Gebroken Poot BE07-3010176
He is the sire of Fifty Six: 5th Nat. Bordeaux 6,249 p., and 7th Intnat. 11,417 p. He is the grandfather of Grandson Geronimo: 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon extreme long distance KBDB 2015. Gebroken Poot is a son of stock breeder Geronimo BE00-4282486 x Zwarte Wittepenne BE03-4238096.
Dam: Rikkie BE12-4240839
She is a daughter of De Cools BE09-036 (a direct Rik Cools) x Daughter Geronimo BE07-495.
The Houfflijn pigeons have been quite successful outside of Wortegem-Petegem as well. His son Dimitri, who races in Anzegem, has several promising racing birds in his collection as well, which all come from Patrick Houfflijn's invaluable breeding loft.
In the footsteps of his father, racing as Houfflijn-Goemaere
Houfflijn-Goemaere is the pigeon breed of his son Dimitri, which can be considered the second Houfflijn pigeon loft. Only a select number of pigeons are raced here: Dimitri started the 2019 season with 27 widowers and 50 youngsters, which all stem from the second round of eggs from his father's loft. The eggs are brooded by the widowers in Anzegem.
At the moment, Dimitri is working on an additional young birds' loft in Anzegem. The goal is to expand his racing team in a few years' time to around 50 widowers. This would allow him to compete in more races: the longer middle distance, the long distance as well as the extreme long distance. Today, he is limited to the long distance, simply due to a lack of pigeons. And he prefers quality over quantity, as you can tell from the best birds in his team.
The superstar of the Houfflijn-Goemaere loft is New Super Cools, a full brother of some of Patrick Houfflijn's best birds that we just talked about: Super Cools, Cools 005 and Brother Super Cools BE16-4152116. These pigeons have repeatedly managed to stand out in national races. This is Super Cools's palmares:
-New Super Cools BE17-4007481
20. Nat Limoges II 9,661 p. ’19 72. Nat Cahors 6,903 p. ’19 296 Nat Limoges I 13,569 p. ’19 58. Prov Orleans 3,417 p. ’18 90. Prov Limoges 1,206 p. ’18
Sire: De Cools 09-3040036
Dam: Zoromino BE09-4210269
(See earlier for the other pigeons bred from this pair)
Red Valence has been highly successful in the races of the 'Route du Rhône'; he finished in the national top 100 in this highly demanding competition twice already:
-Red Valence BE16-4152203
45. Nat Montélimar 4,552 p. ’19 – 3. Prov 228 p. 65. Nat Valence 7,682 p. ’18 – 2. Prov 529 p.
Sire: Red Barcelona BE04-4167696
Bred from Brother Gullit (Desmet – Matthijs Nokere) x Daughter Ronaldo (Etienne Devos).
Dam: Fille du Marseille BE10-300640
Inbred to the renowned bloodline of Marcel Aelbrecht, from a pairing of Son Marseille x Granddaughter Marseille.
The Houfflijn breed is almost guaranteed to deliver talented new youngsters when crossbred with bloodlines from other families; Red Valence is a good example, and so are Son Topfavoriet and Rambo Witslag:
-Zoon Topfavoriet BE17-4007451
25. Nat Aurillac 3,886 p. ’19 – 1. Club 58 p. 38. Prov Orleans 3,417 p. ’18 49. Prov Brive 1,055 p. ’18 – 103. Nat 4,384 p. 164 Prov Chateauroux 4,161 p. ’18
Sire: Top Favoriet BE07-4084412
From Son Blauwe Limoges (a direct Gaby Vandenabeele) x Nationaaltje BE04-4167560 (best breeding hen ever in the lofts of Houfflijn; the dam of Star Geronimo, Geschulpten Geronimo etc.).
Dam: Klaar Maesje BE14-3132477
A direct Anthony Maes-Waregem. A daughter of Bonten Provinciaal 06-261 x het Velleke 06-026.
-Rambo Witslag BE16-4152232
1. Clermont 58 p. ’17 4. Clermont 388 p. ’19 9. Arras 118 p. ’17 10. Clermont 136 p. ’17 54. Prov Argenton 2,727 p. ’17 84. Prov Cahors 1,116 p. ’19 – 384. Nat 6,903 p. 89. Prov Limoges 1,947 p. ’19 – 186. Nat 9,661 p. 108 Prov Limoges 1,993 p. ’17 – 352. Nat 10,554 p.
Sire: Broer 1 Nat. Cahors
A son of Eénslager BE03-044 x Fideelke 538 (daughter Son Blauwe Fideel x Daughter Rambo 2)
Dam: Daughter Rambo 2 (a direct Gaby Vandenabeele)
Rambo Witslag was bred from a full brother of the winner of a 1st Nat. Cahors in 2010
The introduction of the golden Gaby Vandenabeele bloodlines enabled the Houfflijn family to become a leading name in the national long distance. These Vandenabeele pigeons continue to play a defining role in the Houfflijn breeding lofts, alongside the Geronimo bloodline of course.
National stars in the long distance
This clearly shows that both the home base of team Patrick & Dimitri Houfflijn in Wortegem-Petegem and the lofts of Houfflijn-Goemaere in Anzegem boast a collection of pigeons that live up to the Houfflijn breed's excellent reputation, achieving great results in the national and international classics of the long and extreme long distance. And these results underline the enormous racing and breeding potential of the modern-day Houfflijn breed.
The golden stock breeder of the Houfflijn breeding loft: superstar Geronimo